Call for papers | Equality and Diversity in the Professional Events Sector | Special issue of Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events


  • Dr Louise Platt
  • Dr Rebecca Finkel


Following the recent Contemporary Policy Debate paper written by Rhodri Thomas in this journal, this special edition will build on the concerns raised in order to develop an on-going debate on policies around of equality and diversity across the events sector. Whilst Thomas (2016) points out positive changes and initiatives, it remains, white men dominate the sector, visually at least, at high profile events and in industry publications. It is also becoming increasingly evident via social media platforms that there is discomfort around the prominence of all male panels and conferences whether academic or corporate, with the website documenting this. Further, the recent report on the gender pay-gap from the Institute for Fiscal Studies further illustrates the timeliness of such a special edition within a policy-focused journal of this nature. There has also been a clear lack of consideration of policy-making within the examination of the professional events sector on diversity beyond just gender with questions of ethnicity, disability (Darcy, 2012) and sexuality receiving limited attention.

Policy-makers and organisations in the planned events sector need to consider how equality and diversity is managed across the sector as a legal and moral imperative. We, as social scientists, have a responsibility to inform such thinking and contribute to positive social change. There is an expectation that tourism, leisure and events organisations, management professionals and public bodies have a responsibility not only to support equality endeavours, but also to promote diversity within their own organisations as well as appeal to diverse audiences and communities. Along with analyses of mega-event contexts, there is also scope to focus more locally and examine how policies related to equality and diversity processes are affecting the events landscape. It is expected that a special issue highlighting policy research undertaken in this area will contribute to knowledge in understanding the ways in which events-related equality and diversity policies have an impact on people and places. It also has the potential to further discourses related to power relations, sites of challenge and resistance, and models of best practice. A question remains whether our events programmes represent diversity in their student bodies and academic staff, as well as in what we deliver in the curriculum.

Diversity is a global issue and the perspectives from different nations would enhance debate and discussion; therefore, submissions from non-UK based scholars is encouraged. The sector is growing in emerging markets, and these locations need to be examined within this special issue. Equality and diversity issues are not subjects which only pertain to a particular country or region; rather, they incorporate ethical ideals and provide platforms for understanding complex cultural processes with which the international academic community already engage on multiple levels. Papers in this edition will help to inform research and teaching, as more and more institutions are focusing on these subjects to foster internationally-focused and socially responsible graduates.

Indicative areas could include:

  • Policy and governance around equality and diversity, especially in events, tourism and leisure contexts
  • Performance management and career development in events environments
  • Experiences of the workforce within the planned events sector
  • The role of events management education with regard to equality and diversity issues
  • Equality and diversity challenges/best cases with regard to stakeholders and actors as well as diverse audiences and communities in planned events
  • Media representation of equality and diversity in planned events
  • Issue of identity and participation in planned events
  • Research methods and methodologies for studying equality and diversity, especially in events, tourism and leisure fields
  • The lived experience of equality and diversity issues in events landscapes
  • Future for equality and diversity in events education/industry

Both empirical and conceptual submissions are welcomed.


  • Dr Louise Platt
    Senior Lecturer in Festival and Event Management
    Manchester Metropolitan University
    School of Tourism, Events and Hospitality Management
    Faculty of Business and Law
    Cavendish Street
    M15 6BG
    0161 247 2623
  • Dr Rebecca Finkel
    Senior Lecturer, Events Management
    Queen Margaret University
    School of Arts, Social Sciences & Management
    Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6UU
    Scotland, UK
    +44 (0)131 474 0000

Application Procedure

Please submit a 250 word abstract to Louise Platt at by 5th December 2016.

Full timetable

– Abstracts due 5th December 2016
– Decision by 16th December 2016
– Full papers for review by 19th May 2017
– Amendments if required by August 2017 latest
– Aim for publication Autumn 2017

NB: Acceptance of abstracts does not guarantee publication and papers can be rejected at reviewing stage.


Darcy, S. (2012). Disability, Access, and Inclusion in the Event Industry: A Call for Inclusive Event Research. Event Management. Vol 16 (3). 259-265
Thomas, R. (2016). A remarkable absence of women: a comment on the formation of the new Events Industry Board. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. DOI: 10.1080/19407963.2016.1208189


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